Category Archives: food

Epic dinner fail for the win!

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So it’s been a couple years since I last blogged. Well, I’m baaaack! Quite honestly I missed it. So you ask, why did I stop? I got caught up in the what if it’s not perfect? I don’t have time to make it perfect! No one reads them anyway, right?! This is what stops so many writers from living their dream (I know I’m not alone here).

I don’t necessarily want to be a writer but blogging brings me joy, food brings me joy, and sharing those things makes me happy. So here I am, doing what I makes me happy.
So, the title… I had planned on making Balsamic Chicken tonight, and making that my returning blog post. Well, guess who forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer? Guilty as charged! I don’t like defrosting chicken in the microwave; it’s a personal preference. And the warm water thing was taking too long.

So I needed an alternative….and a fast one as it was already 6:15 pm! I thought about the good ole standby, breakfast for dinner. Yeah, been there, done that. I needed something quick and filling as I have a hungry crew. 💡 Frittata!! That’s it, I’m going to make a frittata! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve made one.  Oh, but what to put in it?

Since it’s been so long I needed a little help. So, I found a basic recipe here. For my veggies I decided on onion, baby bella’s and spinach. My son asked if there was going to be meat in it so I used a package of sausage I had in the freezer.

Here’s how I made it. I put about 3 Tbsp. olive oil in my skillet over med/high heat. After it began to warm I added the diced onion and bella’s.

While they were sautéing I cooked the sausage in the microwave (all 6 from the package) and then diced them in large pieces.  I also cracked 8 eggs, added salt and pepper and lightly beat them as per the recipe.

Once the onion/bella’s were soft I added the spinach; I just added a couple handfuls.  After that had cooked down I added the sausage, dried parsley and garlic powder. I gave the group a quick stir so everyone got to know each other.
Next, I poured the egg in, and as per the recipe directions gave it a stir then waited for it to pull away from the sides of the pan. After that it was into my 350 * oven for 15 minutes. Then voilá (sort of) dinner was ready!

Yes, I have to put the oven mitt on the hot handle or I forget that it’s hot. Yes, I learned this the hard way.

So that’s it! I hope you decide to make a frittata soon as it was a big hit here. If so, please share what ingredients you used.

One last note: the recipe calls for milk. Since I’m dairy free I just left it out. So, what’s for dinner at your house?

 

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Meatloaf is my Friend

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I have never, and I mean never liked meatloaf (just ask my sister)! I’m sure it has something to do with the texture, or that it seems like a lump of meat on my plate.

I still remember my mother forcing me to eat it. And to make matters worse, she once covered a meatloaf with mashed potatoes ((shudder))! So I can honestly say, that for over 20 years, I did not eat meatloaf.

About a year ago I had an unfamiliar craving for meatloaf (no, I was not pregnant!). My curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to try and make a meatloaf I could eat.  It had to be flavorful, make me forget I was eating a “lump of meat” and it had to be gluten and grain free.

I scoured over meat loaf recipes on the internet and was intrigued by mini-meat loaves cooked in a muffin tin. Naturally I did what any other food explorer would do, I made up my own recipe!

In hindsight I’m really lucky this worked out considering how long it had been since I had actually eaten meatloaf! Turns out I did good, as my son and husband (my hubby’s not to fond of meatloaf either) loved them and ate many!

So here’s my recipe.  I’ve included some variations.  This way you won’t feel like you’re eating the same meatloaf if you decide to make it 2 weeks in a row.

Mini-Meat Loaf (gluten and grain free)
2 lbs. ground beef (or meat of choice) (I only buy grass fed)
1/2 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion (either yellow or red, not a sweet onion)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs
3 oz cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
Your favorite BBQ sauce
Oil to spray on your muffin tin (I use olive oil)

Preaheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray your muffin tin with oil.  Place ground beef in a large bowl.  Add mushrooms, onion, salt, pepper, eggs, cheese and a little over 1/4 cup BBQ sauce.  Mix together well, it’s easiest to use your hands for this to ensure even distribution.  Fill muffin tin with meat, it’s ok if it’s a little high as they shrink a little during cooking.  Make a little indentation in the center of each meat loaf muffin.  Pour a little BBQ sauce in the indentation you’ve made.  raw mini meatloaf

Cook for about 15 minutes, these cook fast because they are small.  They do NOT taste good overcooked!  After they are cooked, carefully remove from muffin tin and place on serving plate (picture above).

Variations: 
For an Italian twist:
2 lbs. ground beef (or meat of choice) (I only buy grass fed)
1/2 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion (either yellow or red, not a sweet onion)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp each dried oregano and parsley (if you have fresh I would add that about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese
Your favorite tomato sauce (“gravy”)
Oil to spray on your muffin tin (I use olive oil)

After putting a dollop of tomato sauce on top I would also top it with a little cheese……oh the deliciousness!

For a Greek twist:
2 lbs. ground beef or 1 lb. each of ground beef and lamb, or 2 lbs ground lamb
1/2 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion (either yellow or red, not a sweet onion)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp  dried oregano (if you have fresh I would add that about 1 tbsp.)
2 eggs
feta cheese
Tzatziki sauce (optional)
Oil to spray on your muffin tin (I use olive oil)

Prepare using directions above.

I like to serve these with asparagus, but of course, any veggie will do.  What’s your favorite veggie to eat with meatloaf?  My kids would say peas please! So, what’s for dinner at your house?

What’s a Jew to do…?

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What’s a Jew to do when you’re gluten and grain free and you just CAN’T live without latkes for Chanukah? Traditionally you add flour to the mix, but I have discovered that they are just as tasty without.

I know what you’re thinking “They must not stay together!”

Well, I’m here to tell you they do and they have. I was so excited to have latkes I made them Tuesday night, the night before Chanukah started! So for those of you who thought your latke days were behind you, here’s my recipe:

Gluten free/Grain free Potato Latkes
4-5 medium potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned
1/2 red onion
1tsp salt
2 eggs
Oil for frying (I use olive oil)
Applesauce or sour cream

Grate potato and onion; either using a box grater or a food processor. Place a large handful of the potato/onion mixture in a tea towel and twist/squeeze the water out. Place In a large bowl. Continue until you have done this to all the potato/onion mixture.

Add salt and eggs. Stir to combine. Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil. Heat over medium to medium-high heat. The oil must be hot to cook the latkes properly. Add a spoonful of potato mixture to the hot oil and press down to make a patty. Depending on the size of your pan (and patty’s) you can make 3 or 4 at a time.

When the underside is brown and crispy flip your latke. Cook until this side is brown and crisp. To keep them warm place them on a wire rack on a cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven. Continue until all the potato mixture is gone. While cooking you will need to add more oil. Be sure it heats up before you add your next latke to avoid a greasy mess. Serve with applesauce or sour cream, or both!

I prefer my latkes with applesauce, my kids prefer sour cream. Surprisingly we actually had a couple leftover and they made an excellent breakfast (after heating them in a 350 degree oven).

And even with the leftovers I sadly have no photographic evidence due to my overwhelming joy over having a gluten free, grain free latke.

What’s for dinner at your house?

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Dessert and A Guest Blogger!

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apple cakeHi everyone!  I’m Penni’s sister, Marissa, and am happy to contribute a recipe that we adapted to be gluten free/grain free.

Here’s the original recipe and instructions (which was recently being shared on FB):

One Bowl Apple Cake – This cake is so moist and rich and just perfect for this time of year. (and easy to make!)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oil 6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp apples
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and oil. Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you go to keep apples from turning brown.) Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well (best with a fork) until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased one 9×13 or two 9″ round pans. Bake for approximately 55 minutes.

I simply can’t make a recipe exactly following directions anyway, so it was fun to convert this.  And I couldn’t imagine making this without using some brown sugar, so that was one of our changes.  Here’s our new gluten free/grain free recipe:

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup  sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oil (we used olive oil)
6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp apples (we used some Honey Crisp, some ???)
2 cups all almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

We followed the rest of the directions (but added some small chunks of butter to the top), baking ours in a 9×13 pyrex pan.   The ‘cake’ tasted great!! Definitely didn’t have a cake consistency though, maybe more of a wet crisp?  Perhaps next time we’ll use a thickener and maybe some more almond flour.  It was definitely worth making, and worth making again!  Hope you like it!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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WW chix dinIf you’re like me you’re always looking for a new way to prepare chicken. Let’s face it, chicken is a great lean protein, but after a while it can get really boring to eat. As a matter of fact I went through a period of almost 5 years where I didn’t eat chicken at all! I was that sick and tired of eating it. So earlier this week I was trying to decide what to prepare for dinner. I had some chicken breast tenders in the fridge (Nature’s Promise tenders were on sale when we were shopping). I started looking through my cabinets and decided to concoct a one pan meal made with the chicken, artichoke hearts, sliced black olives and diced tomatoes.

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Well, it turned out delicious! Luckily there was some leftover and believe it or not I ate it for breakfast…..yum! I decided to go with a more Mexican flavor and used Adobo in place of typical Italian herbs. This is an easy, quick, one pan meal, here’s how I did it.

WW Chicken Dinner

1 lb. chicken tenders (or diced chicken)
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 small can sliced jalapeno infused black olives, drained
2 cans of diced tomatoes (I prefer Hunt’s no salt added)
Adobo seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and sauté in a pan with coconut oil (or olive oil). Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and simmer until hot. Adjust seasoning to taste.

I ate this with a side of smashed cauliflower and it was delicious! Let me know if you like it. What’s for dinner at your house?

Not Just Another fish Tale

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I’ve mentioned that once a week we have fish for dinner. It’s always wild caught, never farm raised, and almost always cod, haddock or pollack. It really depends on what’s on sale at Giant the Sunday we’re grocery shopping. Yes, we grocery shop together as a family every Sunday, but that’s another blog post. So, last week it was cod. Recently I’ve been preparing it Portuguese style (see March 11th blog post titled “Fish is ….delicious!” for the recipe). So I decided to switch things up…..

A while back when we were having haddock for dinner I found a recipe for Baked Haddock with Mustard Tarragon Marinade on nikibone.com. I made it and we all liked it so I decided to make it for dinner last week since cod is very similar to haddock. Well, my son said he liked it better than the Portuguese style and proceeded to eat about a 1/2 pound of it! I think he was getting tired of the Portuguese style fish; I’ll have to revisit that in a few weeks. The original recipe is for 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of fish. I had almost 2 lbs so I used 1.5x what the measurements were. So, here’s the recipe with a few changes to minimize the amount of dirty dishes you will have to wash (you can thank me later):

■2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
■2 tbsp. olive oil
■1 tbsp. dijon mustard
■1/2 tsp dry tarragon or 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
■1/8 tsp pepper
■1 to 1 1/2 haddock, cod or pollack fillets
■salt to taste

In a Pyrex baking dish (or similar) whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, tarragon and pepper. Rinse fish and pat dry. Add the fish to the marinade and turn them to coat completely; arrange them with thinner areas overlapping. Marinade for at least 15 minutes. I marinate for up to an hour, covered with foil or plastic wrap on the counter. Bake uncovered in a preheated 450 degree oven until the fish flakes in the thickest part when prodded with a fork and fish is opaque. About 10-15 minutes for fish that is 3/4 inch thick. When done salt to taste.

The pictures above is what was left after my son and I attacked it. My poor husband barely got any; but he’s kind of used to that. Here’s the link to the original recipe http://www.nikibone.com/recipe/haddock.html. There are many other haddock recipes here so check them out. The original recipe doesn’t call for salt but I felt the fish needed it. Also, I’ve made this with haddock and cod, and for some reason I like it better with haddock; but that’s just my crazy opinion. Since it’s rare to find fresh tarragon in my house, each time I’ve prepared this I’ve made it with dried tarragon and it’s tasted just fine. Perhaps one day I’ll use fresh tarragon. I let my kids pick out the vegetable and they picked corn, so corn it was. I would have preferred brussel sprouts but I’m the only one who likes them. This is an easy and delicious recipe, try it and see. What’s for dinner at your house?

I need pizza!!!!!

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Ask anyone who’s gluten free, the one thing they really miss is pizza. It’s impossible to make a gluten free crust that tastes like a regular gluten crust. I’ve tried a few. The cauliflower crust is ok, but after a while not at all satisfying. My pizza eating family (that would be everyone minus my daughter) liked it. But, you have to eat it with a fork, and after a while I just want a piece of pizza I can pick up! I liked Pamela’s mix that comes in a bag, that was pretty good.

After recently discovering I need to limit my grains to almost zero (see last blog post), I thought my quest for a pizza I can pick up and enjoy had come to a screeching halt (insert car screeching noise here). Well, thanks to Brittany Angell’s http://www.realsustenance.com I have found an acceptable substitute. Really, I have! It’s grain free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, corn free and egg free! You’re skeptical, I can see that….well, just try it! Here’s the link: http://realsustenance.com/best-ever-flaky-crispy-gluten-free-thin-crust-pizza-graineggdairysoy-free/

My son loved it and although it’s not the “real thing” it’s as darn close as you’re going to get. I topped my pizza with sauce, mozzeralla cheese and bacon. The one “mistake” (for lack of a better term) I made was not being able to roll out the dough thin enough. I need to buy bigger cookie sheets! I’m sorry I don’t have a picture for you but I forgot to take one when it came out of the oven, and now there’s none left! The next one I make will be her Buffalo Chicken pizza, I’ll let you know how it turns out! Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Fish is…delicious!

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haddock portuguese

When deciding what to eat each week I always try to add one night of fish. I only buy wild caught fish so my choices are sometimes limited to what’s available and how expensive it is. This week Haddock was on sale at my Giant so I bought 2 lbs. I’ve made it before and we love it. I didn’t want to just bake it or fry it. I wanted to do something with more flavor. I decided to make a Portuguese Style Haddock, which can be made with cod as well. It is made with diced tomatoes, olives and onion (among other ingredients). What’s not to like? I served it over rice this time and it was delicious. My son had 2 servings. Here’s how I made it.

Portuguese Style Haddock or Cod
1 package of sliced portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves of crushed garlic
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup roughly chopped black olives
1/4 cup minced curly parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. haddock or cod
Rice (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pan with sides. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic and sautee for 5 ninutes over meduim heat. Add canned tomatoes (including the juice), olives, parlsey, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered about 5-10 minutes, stirring occastionaly. Cut the cod into serving size pieces and salt and pepper the fish. Add to the top of the tomato mixture. Cover and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. If you prefer a thicker sauce remove the fish. Mix together corn starch and water. Add this to the tomato mixture. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Add the fish back in. This can be served over rice if desired.

Enjoy! What’s for dinner at your house?

I never liked meatballs until…..

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Raw meatballsI never liked meatballs. For as long as I can remember I don’t have any recollection of saying “I’d really love a meatball!” My son, of course, loves meatballs. So one day a few years ago I decided to make them myself. I asked family members, looked up recipes on the internet, and decided to “Go for the Gold”. It wasn’t until I made my own that I realized I like them. I’m guessing this is because I control the ingredients and amounts of these ingredients. I wouldn’t say they’re my favorite food, but the ones I make are quite delicious. First of all they are gluten free so I don’t use any bread or bread crumbs. You may be questioning “how do they stay together?” Simple, eggs. Secondly, I add vegetables to them, specifically portabella mushrooms and spinach. This is for two reasons: one, it forces my family to eat vegetables; two, it keeps the meatballs moist and tasty.

So tonight I made meatballs. With what you ask? Well, since pasta is one of the only 3 things my daugher likes to eat, and I can’t eat gluten and didn’t feel like having gluten free pasta, here’s how I served up tonights dinner to satisfy everyone’s tastes. I sauteed sliced portabella mushrooms, green and red peppers, sliced red onion (each slice cut in 4), a crushed clove of garlic and half of a diced hot pepper in olive oil. After it was a little tender I added some tomato sauce and lowered the heat until we were ready to eat. I make my own tomato sauce and freeze it in quart bags. I made capellini pasta for my kids and husband. They ate the meatballs with pasta, sauce and fresh grated parmesan cheese. I ate the meatballs with the sautee’d vegetables, sauce and fresh grated parmesan cheese. It was delicious.

I decided since I was going to the trouble of making them to begin with I should make a lot. I used 2 lbs. of meat and it made 68 meatballs. I’m hoping there’s some left to freeze for a night next week but I doubt it after the way my son tore into them. Anyway, if you’re looking for a gluten free meatball recipe, here’s the one I suggest:

Gluten Free Yummy Meatballs
■2 lbs. ground meat (I used 1 lb grass fed beef and 1 lb venison/pork)
■1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
■3/4 cup finely diced portabella mushrooms
■1/2 c. diced red onion
■2 tsp. dried parsley
■2 tsp. dried basil
■1 tsp. dried oregano
■4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely diced
■2 eggs
■1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
■salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. You can use your hands or a fork to combine them. Form into small balls and place on a cookie sheet (I prefer to use a baking stone/bar pan). Cook for 15 minutes. Makes approximately 68.

Note: To make them Paleo, eliminate the parmesan cheese.

Snowstorm? No French Toast Here!

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Homemade ChiliSo there’s a snow storm coming and I have to go to the store for…..limes. Yes, limes, for my Friday and Saturday night homemade skinny margaritas. While at the store I start thinking about dinner. What was I going to make? I’m racking my brain and I have no clue (I’ll blame the memory loss on a busy week). So while I’m walking around trying to find an onion dip without MSG I decide I want to make chili. Easy enough. I realize there is only one ingredient I don’t have….beans. Luckily I’m still at the store and I buy 2 cans of organic chili beans. I get home and have soup for lunch and decide shortly thereafter I need to start the chili. I put the dried chipolte’s in hot water and start dinner. I’ll post the recipe under the recipe tab. I taste tested it and it was good, but as with all chili it needed some time for the flavors to meld/blend/whatever you call it. Needless to say by the time my kids came home from school the house smelled REALLY good! Upon entering the house Mark (my son) said “MMMMM it smells good, what’s that?”. Before I could answer I heard him lift the lid to the pot. A couple hours later he was wolfing down his 2nd bowl……

Note: About the onion dip comment; I wanted to treat myself to potato chips and onion dip. I can’t eat regular onion dip because the ingredients either make me sick or make my son itchy. I usually buy Simply Organic French Onion Dip (it’s in a packet) but I couldn’t find it. So I proceeded to check every packet and container of onion dip in the store. They all either contained wheat, MSG, and/or a corn sweetener. Big bummer! I settled on Kettle Brand Sweet Onion Potato chips. And yes, they were delicious!